I was digging through all my t-shirts this morning and low and behold what did I find….the event shirt from the 2009 Tahoe Nalu. Yep, you read it right, my first standup paddle race was the Tahoe Nalu in 2009 at Kings Beach on Lake Tahoe. Consequently, I have not missed a Nalu since that first race in 2009, tomorrow will be my 6th year competing at the Tahoe Nalu.
Last night, I stopped by Waterman’s Landing for a Tahoe Nalu Sponsor event, event founder Ernie Brassard was telling me next year the Nalu will be celebrating its 10th anniversary. Not sure if the Nalu is the oldest SUP Race in the country but I would imagine it’s got to be pretty close. These days there are so many races in the summer that you actually need a race calendar to keep track of all the races hence the birth of supcurrents.com, supracer.com, distressed mullet.com etc. Tomorrow’s Nalu will actually encompass all sorts of paddle craft with OC-1, OC-6 teams, surf ski and prone, yes this will be a true paddling festival celebrating the heart and soul of what we all love to do regardless of the paddle craft. The Nalu has endured and pioneered so much over the years including prize money then back to no prize money, lots of pro athletes, gnarly race conditions (remember 2010), different race course and formats, the list goes on but at the end of the day this race is all about paddling on this great lake called Tahoe. It’s about the families that have been showing up and doing their first race together or the growing group of next generation of young paddlers. And of course its about the people, seeing the old friends, meeting the new ones. Thanks to the vendors and the sponsors over the years that show up to bake in the hot sun all weekend so we can be on the water. Lastly, thanks to Ernie Brassard and his crew (I know its a big crew), thanks for your stamina and keeping the sport of paddle fresh and fun.
Good luck to everyone competing tomorrow and have fun!
See you in the AM for the 10 miler!